HI-TEK Manufacturing Inc.’s factory in Mason, Ohio, hums and buzzes with computer-operated milling machines, electric discharge machines, laser, and other advanced manufacturing tools. They cut, shape and polish parts from high-temperature “super alloys” that help cool down GE turbines and jet engines.
When GE started working with HI-TEK three decades ago, the company employed 15 people. Today it has 160 workers and GE accounts for 12 percent of its business. “We take great pride in working with GE,” says marketing manager Brad Gundrum. “They are very important for us.”
There are many companies like HI-TEK in Ohio. Today GE released new economic impact data showing that the company’s 15,000 Ohio employees directly and indirectly generate $11.2 billion for the state’s economy. What more, every 10 GE jobs in Ohio support 23 additional jobs in the state.
Thomas Edison’s birthplace in Milan, Ohio.
There’s a good reason for this. GE has deep roots in the state, starting with Thomas Edison who was born in Milan, Ohio, in 1847. Just last week, GE Lighting, whose NELA Park in East Cleveland celebrates a centenary this year, opened a 100-year old time capsule that contained working GE light bulbs manufactured before the Titanic sunk. Former GE chairman and CEO Fred Borch grew up in the Buckeye State and received the Governor’s Award, the state’s highest honor, in 1964. GE Aviation opened for business in Ohio in 1949.
But rich history is just a fragment of the full picture. It’s GE’s record of innovation in Ohio that has nourished good manufacturing jobs there. NELA Park engineers have scored a number of halogen, CFL, and LED breakthroughs, the technologies that will illuminate the future. Over at GE Aviation, workers at several GE plants are building and testing some of the world’s most advanced jet engines like the record-breaking GE90 and GEnx, which is used on Boeing’s Dreamliner. GE Energy’s innovative aeroderivative turbines have been recently recognized as a key innovation by MIT’s Technology Review.
GE hired TrippUmbach, an independent third party, take the current snapshot of GE’s economic impact on Ohio. The firm has also calculated similar data for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and the entire United States. Detailed results are available here.
GE has deep roots in Ohio, starting with Thomas Edison’s birthplace in the town of Milan. This historical slideshow illustrates how GE technology has helped power the state, move machinery, light cities and sports parks, and even bake cookies.